GLENDALE – Captain Shane Doan scored the 380th goal of his NHL career on Thursday night at Gila River Arena to set the Coyotes/Jets franchise record for goals scored.
Doan took a pass from Max Domi and bumped the puck past Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck at 9:28 of the first period to cap a two-on-one rush. Doan first passed the puck to Domi but the rookie, knowing Doan needed just one goal to pass Dale Hawerchuk for sole possession of the record, returned it and Doan then made history.
“What a play by Max,” Doan said. “That was a great play. He has a different level of skill than pretty much anyone I’ve played with. He’s one of those special guys. He makes plays.”
The crowd inside the arena – Coyotes AND Jets fans – gave Doan a standing ovation after his record-setting goal. Doan, of course, scored his fist seven goals for the franchise as a member of the Winnipeg Jets in 1995-96. He and the Jets moved to Arizona in 1996.
Doan, who added an empty-net goal with 15.7 seconds left to cap Arizona’s 4-2 win, said scoring the historic goal vs. Winnipeg was special.
“Obviously the symbolism is pretty cool,” Doan said. “I recognize that, but it was just nice to get it quickly and to be able to not dwell on it for a little while and think about it.”
Doan has played 1,422 games for the Coyotes/Jets since 1995-96. Hawerchuk played 713 games for the Jets from 1981-90.
After a slow start to the season, Doan is suddenly on fire. He has scored nine goals in his past 10 games and now leads the team with 13.
Before the game, fans who didn't get the chance to celebrate Doan's hat trick vs. Chicago on Tuesday, which he completed with 27.1 seconds left in a 7-5 loss, threw hundreds of hats onto the ice for Doan at the end of warm-ups. Doan skated around the lids from a few moments before picking up a black cowboy hat and putting it on. He then raised his stick to the crowd and skated off the ice wearing the cowboy hat. It was fitting because Doan often has said that members of his family are either hockey players or cowboys.
“I had no idea that that was going to go on,” Doan said. “When it happened it kind of caught me off guard and I didn’t know what to do. I want to say thanks to the fans because obviously that’s pretty incredible that they would do something like that. That’s pretty special.”
By securing the record, Doan further cements himself as the face of the franchise.
“He’s everything you could ask for,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “The passion he has for the game and his commitment to doing things right and his commitment to the organization, all those things that have made him the face of this franchise epitomizes who he is as a person and a player. When you have a lot of young players around that it’s great for them to see a player like that.”
Asked if Doan still wows him as a 39-year-old NHLer, Tippett said: “When it comes to hockey, he’s a little kid. He still loves playing and has passion for the game.”
Hawerchuk is the head coach of the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. Barrie played Sudbury on Thursday night thus Hawerchuk couldn’t watch the Coyotes vs. Jets game live.
One day before the game, Hawerchuk spoke fondly of Doan.
“I wish him luck,” Hawerchuk said on Wednesday. “It will be a great achievement. Shane has had a great career and has been a real pro and a real classy pro at that. To have that kind of longevity and to put those numbers up, you can’t help but have respect for that.”